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7 Key Talking Points From the Eagles-Redskins Game

davidesser14

Carson Wentz + DJax

So let’s just get the obvious one out of the way, this Wentz-DJax connection is a match made in heaven. Not only has Wentz never had a deep threat as physically gifted as Jackson, but I don’t think Desean has ever had a QB as talented as the North Dakota gunslinger. 

The two connected 8 times on Sunday, resulting in 154 yards and two majestic 50+ yard TDs. The spark Djax provided right before halftime blatantly played a role in the birds coming out firing in the second half of their season opener. Like I said back in July (The “DJax Effect”: What Desean Jackson will bring to the 2019 Eagles), it’s “impossible” to not be excited about this pairing. 

The RB Situation

The Eagles had one of the worst rushing attacks in the NFL in 2018 (28th according to total yards), and coming into 2019 it was obvious Howie was emphasizing improving this area. The additions of Miles Sanders, Jordan Howard, and the return of Darren Sproles had fans expecting big things on the ground, and while the crowded RB committee did amass a total of 116 yards, there were some questions regarding usage.

Sproles led the entire team in touches in the first half, J. Howard saw just 6 carries the whole game, and Miles Sanders had a YPC of 2.3. In my personal opinion, Howard should be the feature back for the time being, he ran hard in the few chances given and really opened up the field for Wentz. I like Miles and I see his potential, but until he’s 100% ready, let’s lean on the proven vet. (Sproles really needs to be more of a special teams guy/receiving back given his age)

The Secondary

Vernon Davis broke 700 tackles and scored a 48-yard TD, rookie Terry McLaurin torched Rasul Douglas over the top en route to a 70-yard TD, and glorified “game manager” Case Keenum ended the day with 380 passing yards and 0 interceptions. For a secondary that was seemingly deep with talented backs, no one really impressed on Sunday. Darby dropped a pick and blew some tackles, Maddox left early with cramps, ‘Sul Douglas gave up the previously mentioned TD, and Sidney Jones was toasted on a similar McLaurin route that Keenum just overthrew. Going up against Julio Jones and the Falcons next, this is an area that needs improvement.

Malik Jackson

As I’m writing this, it was just announced Malik Jackson will miss the remainder of 2019. This is a significant loss. Malik has 32.5 career sacks, 55 tackles for a loss, and was ranked the 9th best interior defensive linemen in pressures last season. The birds are going to have to find a way to replace the production he was intended to have this season. Hello Chris Long?

(Update: Eagles have signed 27 year old DT Akeem Spence).

Nigel Bradham

Despite a few mishaps here and there, Nigel Bradham had a very good game against Washington. He was among just three players to play 100% of the snaps on Sunday (Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod the other two), and led the team in tackles with 6. Linebacker was somewhat of a question mark this offseason for Philly, seeing Nigel play the way he did this weekend is a very good sign. 

Brandon Brooks

When Brooks tore his Achilles against the Saints last winter, many people expected this to be an injury that carried deep into the 2019 season. Miraculously, Brooks was suited up and starting on Sunday afternoon, and not only that, he played over 50 snaps. The 30 year old right guard deserves an infinite amount of praise for obviously working his ass off this offseason. Achilles injuries are no joke, and at 30 years old and 300+ lbs it can even be career ending. Brooks is a warrior, and performances like he had this weekend prove why he’s one of the best o-lineman in the NFL

Nelson Agholor

Over the last two seasons Nelson Agholor has 1,504 yards, 126 catches, and 12 TDs. On Sunday however, he amassed just 11 yards on 2 catches. With the additions of DJax, Sanders, Howard and the emergence of Dallas Goedert, it was inevitable that someone would have to lose touches. The victim of that reality just happened to be Nelly in week one. I personally love Agholor, his production while in a smaller role is unparalleled across the league, and he was a huge reason Philly was so good in 2017. Despite a frustrating afternoon for the 26 year old reciever, his response to the situation was perfect (via @DrewCorrigan on Twitter):

Image-1

Twitter: @phillyinsider99

-David Esser via Philly Sports Insider

~stats via NFL.com~

~image via pixlr.com~

 

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